The Artist

Berbay. Apr. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781922610423.
K-Gr 3–The Artist—a young white boy with blond hair who is not given a name— lives by the sea and rippling waves, and paints each morning. He also has other explorations by the sea, including piano lessons, sailing, and visiting with Grandma. The Artist is a great observer of nature and has almost unbridled freedom, with long days spent by himself with Young Dog; Old Dog waits for them at home, curled up and content. Young readers will admire the beauty of the soft, watercolor illustrations, and yearn for some of the freedom the Artist has. Binks, by portraying the boy as pursuing his interest in painting birds, and in being quiet and reflective, offers children an alternative vision to much of daily life. As ethereal as this sounds, there is a life lesson here, presented with dignity and grace.
VERDICT For larger collections, this is a great read-aloud for a general introduction to art and art’s purpose, making something hard to pin down for children a bit more tangible.

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